tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 5, 2014 2:30am-4:31am EDT
he's also in the back of the room. i also want to thank melissa and dean jackson of international forum for democratic studies for their help in organizing today's presentation and i also want to note the presidents suzanne our book editor at johns hopkins university press. those of you who are on twitter who follow the panel discussion and contribute to the conversation by using the hashtag ned events or by following the forum at great democracy and the endowment. now please join me in silencing your cell phones and i'm very pleased to turn the floor over to larry diamond. >> thank you so much market thank you to everyone who is acknowledged by mark. we are very grateful to three of
our authors who are agreeing to participate in this reflection on the book and where the arab world is now in the wake of this publication and in the wake of all of the developments of the last three plus years. i'm going to briefly introduce our speakers. they will speak each for about 10 minutes in the order that i want to reduce them. i may ask them a few more questions and try and get them to fight with one another intellectually. then we will have plenty of time for you to pose your questions or challenges to them and to all of us. dan brumberg is one of our oldest in terms of longest-serving partners in the journal of democracy. in fact he joined our editorial at an early stage of his career.
and it's been very influential in shaping our coverage of the political developments related to the arab world and associate professor of government and codirector of the program of democracy and government at georgetown university. he also serves as a special adviser with the institute of peace to the muslim world initiative where he focuses on democratization and political reform in the middle east and the wider islamic world. hillel fradkin has also been a long-time partner interlocutor with the journal of democracy and our study center and a senior fellow at the hudson institute where he directs the cey and the future of the muslim world. he is a founder and coeditor of the center's current trends in islamist ideology and he has
taught at chicago, colombia yale and georgetown. amperage is the world's intellectual life and policy and practice. tarek masoud we have gotten to know more recently but we are excited about the work he is doing and that he has also contributed to the journal of democracy. he is an associate professor of public policy at the kennedy school of government at harvard where he teaches courses on comparative political institutions modernization and politics. his new book is just about out, right? counting islam religion class in elections in egypt and he is also the author of a very widely acclaimed book order, conflict and violence with cambridge university press. i will ask you each beginning with you dan to reflect on what
you wrote and the challenges of democratization and authoritarianism at this moment in the arab world. >> i first want to say i very much appreciate the opportunity to be with my old comrades and friends at this meeting and to have contributed to this volume and list of contributors is extraordinary. the test to the widening arena of scholars doing serious work on the arab world and the wider middle east. when we started this venture the notion that we would work on the arab world seems to be fantastic to a lot of people. i recall back in the day where we should've had meetings just to put this on the agenda and convince people this was an incredible thing that need to be studied. the journal was way ahead of the
curve. i mean that. it really was prepared to start asking important questions long before some folks out there in the policy and academic worlds were ready to think about this seriously. i think it's a credit to the journal that has devoted so much time attention and space and larry has done such a good job with mark in making that happen. i appreciated and i think many people in this audience contributed to that effort recognize how important it was that the journal was so much ahead of the curve are in this matter. i've been asked to reflect on the piece i wrote. what i rewrite it in a different way? when i wrote the piece and mark was mentioning how do you deal with events that are changing as you are writing them? i said i had two predictions. things were grim grim and each of them wouldn't work out and
things were okay in tunisia and would work out and things that were not looking so good in tunisia, oh my god like ron said when he is going to get the constitutional vision written. my reputation is on the line. low and the hold even a week before the constitution was agreed on colleagues didn't know what was going to go on. i felt and i am saying this for a serious reason and that is i think this may sound somewhat self-serving but the analytical framework i tried to set out in that article in egypt and tunisia is a framework that i think i am more convinced than ever i have to say is a useful way to think about the challenges of moving from what i call a authoritarian rackets, protection rackets to democratic protection rackets and
government -- and the paradigm itself focuses on the dynamics of conflict and identity and arab political systems. that paradigm is by no means limited to the cases of arab world. let's just look at ukraine right now is another example where the issue of identity politics and autocracy and dread -- intersect but the issues of conflict are specially press and in the arab world for a variety of reasons. it's not something that we really expected in the sense that when they were both started in tunisia part of the metropolitan to nist capital but in arra areas it was about the revolt and searching for social and economic equality and dignity. and so many of the initial
slogans in the rebellion not only in tunisia and i much preferred the notion that arab political -- in arab spring as well as in egypt and elsewhere these rebellions were in large measure initially about pictures of economic and social measures dignity. the whole intersection and syria against the water scarcity and how that played a critical role in the revolt and syria. so people were caught unaware by the extent to which the issue of identity politics has loomed so large. i use the term very deliberately because i don't think the issue as i have written in the past, i wrote a piece two or three years ago, maybe more you know how time flies called islam is not
the issue of the problem and how different segments of these communities can learn to live together democratically as opposed to having a peaceful co-existence or not so peaceful coexistence in an authoritarian system. i think therefore the identity issue looms large but many people were surprised. i remember jill coppell wrote a piece months ago where he said he was shocked that the issue that egypt had loomed so large and i was thinking oh my -- this is a man who knows each of 12. sometimes it's not easy to stand back and see the terrain. the terrain was very much organized and the reason why it was not so surprised about the fact that thing shifted so quickly from a focus on social economic justice and dignity to a struggle over identity is that the political systems had in
large part been organized around what i call protection systems in which governments regimes backed by strong militaries in many cases provided socioeconomic protection to paul beyrle minorities are communities in return for their acquiescence to their power. that sort of relationship which i call the long time ago a bargain that kind of relationship meant that in many respects the dynamics of identity constitutionally steeply before we saw the arab political worlds explode onto the political arena and deeply embedded among contested political leaks who did or not necessarily have they saw saw as corrupted and efficient saw as corrupt and inefficient or unfair so when the elite politics shifted shifted in the context of that protection racket system and didn't
necessarily transcend. i think it is an out sounds, in retrospect nothing is surprising. that's for sure but i have been thinking about this stuff for a long time and while i was hoping it would shift to the pragmatics of socioeconomic struggles it didn't. now when we think about transitions i think we think about the transition. on. i still think it's in many respects still an important intellectual theoretical contribution that the paradigm assumed that democratization would emerge not because people are committed to democracy but because people were using democratic rules as a mechanism of conflict resolution the notion of democracy without democrats but there was no basic identity area the extent to which here's the paradox. the authors of the paradigm are correct.
you need some sort of political bargain to make a transition but it's particularly difficult difficult to have a path in the struggle is not over economic and social issues explicitly but over identity. how do you bargain with identity issues? it's much more difficult than dealing with rates of inflation and so on if you compare the struggle for a pact in brazil would say to egypt. the polls were not trying to figure out their national identity. the question therefore is how do you move as i said before an authoritarian to a democratic one and in each case you a different set of variables. even the word variable scares me a little. buried independent variable. but i think the structure of that relationship really helps
and rushers -- retrospect understand the difficulties as well as the opportunities. in egypt he had a basic struggle between a military-led regime that offer offered protection to different elements of the community to the business community, to secular intellectuals but the key thing about the protection racket in egypt, there are two things. first of all is maintained by a powerful military has sustained itself is we will now and in the end the protection not only provided protection to secular groups to business leaders but also to islamists. islamists were always negotiating and they continued and they thought they could reach a political pact under morsi for mcdonnell at terry. guess who laughs last? that was really the egyptian story. morsi did not reach out and do
what the leader has to if you are going to move to democratic system and that is reassure the losers of their basic rights. particularly if the losers are military. you he can signal that you will, but the bargain and you are not going to get a transition. the struggle over the egyptian constitution morsi did not really signal to the secularists that they have a place in the system. the secularists many of them back the islamists. i thought the coup, i call it a coup and i'm not ashamed of it, was a mistake. i think the democratic crisis requires a democratic solution. i think what we have in egypt is a system that is as close to fascism as you can now find. it really is. in the technical sense of the term logistic and so many ways.
tunisia benefited, tunisia had a islamist -- there's no doubt about it but they didn't have the military to appeal to to resolve the collective action problem. so they either to talk or they fight. they fought a lot and i am sure they will still fight a lot but at the end of the day they appealed to their own sense of self-interest but also to the arbitrating role to other institutions in resolve the political pact for creating the constitution. there i remained optimistic. i think it's much more difficult for countries such as bahrain and syria for you at this relatively small minority that sees democratization as an existential threat. an election could mean that they are overwhelmed by the majority. alawites had a piece in the times about this. alawites do not see -- bahrain sunni government so structurally
there are cases that are much more vulnerable to reassertion of authoritarianism. i think the kind of authoritarianism we have now in bahrain in egypt is worse than anything we have had before but you also have to look at opportunities. i see them in tunisia and i still remain not completely pessimistic on yemen and in libya well there are i can't be overly pessimistic because once you do not deal with the issue of malicious early on and you have a real bad situation. there are a variety of outcomes. i will only close by saying the following. in the wake of the revolts in tunisia and egypt there was a sudden surge of democracy. those of us who spent our careers writing about the mechanics of democracy were told oh wow you know told oh wow u. know u. told oh wow you know u.n. high demand all those other guys you are wrong. it's not a question of whether we were wrong or right but we have to put aside great
expectations and look at the historical context and really embed their understanding of what's possible in the complexities of these systems. they are always in their own history. we have to take those histories and legacy seriously. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. it would be a useful service if i told the audience what you have written on but in fact her topic was transforming the arab world's protection racket politics. >> it's a good title. >> it's not bad dam. it's almost as good as liberalized autocracy. hillel fradkin has shared with us some of his work on islamist thought and mobilization. his title is arab democracy or
islamist revolution so three years later hillel which is at? >> first before i get into that i want to thank as others have larry and mark for this work and for the work of the national endowment for the democracy. also mark observed early on in his remarks that the world's attention is moving on from the arab spring because of the crisis with ukraine. that's extremely rude of vladimir putin to have done so but it does mean that this may be the last time for some time that we will have an opportunity to discuss these matters because others -- other issues will emerge. i will talk a little bit about the article i wrote and what it
said and how it looks today but to focus my remarks that way i think requires me to go another 15 rounds which would be time-consuming and unfair to all of you. so i just want to begin really with what was largely the task of the session which was to reassess the arab spring some three plus years and to indicate what we have learned. ..
but it is especially the case in the middle east because most of the country shares not only had geographic place but a common ground of being muslim and identifying themselves as such second and related to because the question of islam became almost immediately an aspect important to understanding them has remained so the net result was that all muslim countries in the region, not arabs as well as arab saw themselves as having a stake, whether positive or negative and the outcome of the
revolts. and to the extent necessary or possible they have mostly acted as such. this has proven, i think, to have broad and deep consequences , both in themselves the most obvious, crucial, and appalling case is syria and its civil war. for this war and the revolt that lost it as now drawn in one way or another almost every country in the region. of course it is now being fought as a strom. this consequence is not strictly speaking anticipated. but in the end of the arab spring for both arab and regional politics. almost as obvious as the case of egypt whose revolutionary dynamic has attracted the
concern and intervention of other countries both arab and non-arab, especially turkey and the latter category. in this regional engagement. and i will add here and come back to the fact that the dynamic of turkey's own politics has a bearing for the questions raised by the arabs bring. but, of course, of the core of the arab spring was the arab countries and their results. at the beginning of the revolts had two goals. first, the overthrow of the existing autocrats and second, the replacement of autocratic regimes with renewed democratic ones. where does this stand? well, four of the five autocrats are gone. apart from khaddafi, the worst of the lot, but the
establishment of new democratic regimes has largely failed to materialize. one possible exception is to news. what happened? to obviously there were different factors in different countries that have contributed to this failure and no doubt we will explore today those differences in our discussion. here i would like to focus of egypt which seems to be the most crucial gloom case for several reasons and also happens to be largely the focus of the article in the journal in this volume. first, it is the largest arab country and is thus looks to as a model, the country in which the greatest ( vested. it did have a genuinely democratic revolution in the sense that it held more or less and may be inclined to prove to forget this, more or less preelection search which produced a new regime the
islamist regime of the muslim brotherhood supported by other islamist parties. as we all know, that regime has failed and is in the process of being replaced by a new regime his character is still uncertain but may amount restoration of the egyptian autocracy in a somewhat new kind beat him what was the dynamic here, the trajectory, it seemed that the main opposition would be the brother. that did not prove to be the case. it also seemed that the brother of would be inclined to move relatively quickly to fulfill its 80-year-old vision of islamic governments. i drew this conclusion from the
statements of authoritative leaders as well as the history of the brotherhood movement. the question at the time was really how quickly and, of course, how successfully in the event, and i think i was prepared for it to move fairly quickly but not as quickly as it did. it moved very quickly and for a while successfully, and i think partially because it was led by a very considerable public support on the front end at least had the support of the islamist allies. of course, the rain ended last july. when have we learned -- what have we learned from this experience, this particular experience in the egyptian case? the egyptian revolted, and fact, provide an opening to the expression of popular will which, for that reason, i think you may describe as a democratic opening. but its first expression was a
kind of religious populism not particularly devoted to a democratic order. this plus other advantages is what led to the brotherhood in the first place. but this populism as it came to the form presented certain questions or problems. what kind of religion what it promote and how would it governor? these issues were never resolved. in particular, the brother had never properly solve the issues of governance and tried to address them in an increasingly autocratic mode. i would say -- it does not excuse them, but they had a lot of help because of the frustrations they encountered with the resistance of various authorities within the government. in all events this lead to resentment and chaos and eventually failure. other political skills proved unequal to their ambitions and
greed where does that leave egypt today? brotherhood failure led to the emergence of an alternative political movement democratically inclined in a western fashion. but such has not been the case. the constituency for such a movement must always be -- was always weekend appears weaker still now. i think part of the reason is as was underscored, the constituency of egypt is a traditional and conservative one and does not have a natural instinct will feel for the kind of alternative -- that kind of alternative. this is not, i think to say, that popular will can no longer express itself. ended does, but it now endorses a new and charismatic save your. it is unclear what this will
mean and how to interpret it in so far as he is genuinely popular which seems to have some power. moreover, its seems to me their religious popularization may not be over. he might try to appropriate in some fashion and it is notable that he contrives to have the support of some. the net result may be a new regime which is religiously populous and authoritarian at the same time. whether this can work will depend upon whether his political skills are superior to those of the brotherhood. at the present time his main opponent will be one who invokes an earlier form of egyptian populism. so we will have something of a test in the near term of which
kind of populism is most appealing to the egyptian public. as a some kind of test for a lot of reasons. the bearing of the very particular egyptian experience for the broader brown. i confess, i do not have a clue. but in any serious sense i do have three observations. first, prospective end of autocracy led to their release of religious passions dividend think it could not help but do so since the new report social constituency defined themselves religiously. what was being said earlier about identity. in some places more, in some places less. but as these constituencies were not all of one mind it has led to religious quarrels to play a heightened role in politics. for example and especially in syria.
second, however things may play out in egypt the possibility of a religiously populous but authoritarian model baby export elsewhere. such at least is presently the case in turkey where the prime minister is pursuing it under it the new rubric of advanced democracy. at the beginning of the arabs spring and many wondered whether it would fall of the so-called turkish model and so it may also and a sense now which would be a very, very a right thing finally overall our topic remains subject to a question raised in the spring of 2011 in the wake of the death of of osama bin laden's raised by a lebanese professor who said at the time, the problem now is not how you can destroy something but how you can resist something, how you can build something new, new state to my new authority, a new relationship between the public, the, a new civil society.
happily as the arab spring has yet to find an answer to that question. thank you. >> thank you for those eloquent remarks. we are now going to give the floor. i will no that he has to articles. one that was written three years ago now. i think we can say more cautiously maybe your view of this situation, we are eager to hear it. another extremely influential and widely read s.a. that he co-authored with jason bromley which is now being enlarged into a book that will be published soon trying to take stock of why the arab spring happened in some countries and not others. whichever piece of that you want
to talk about. the floor is yours. >> i'm constitutionally incapable of speaking -- [inaudible conversations] >> all right. >> to is this upstart. i want to thank larry for inviting me to speak today. i have been lucky enough to run a number of times. the first time was when i was finishing my doctoral dissertation. i had to lobby to get in. i wrote the piece and that wanted to know what mark thought . you have your entire career ahead of you. that don't know whether we are good at taking advice. my dear friend as noted, when i
was lucky enough to have to contributions in this volume. one was written in june of 2011 when the revolution in egypt was still fresh and the possibilities seem to be endless. another was written in october of 2013 when the full scale of the arab spring disappointment became evident. and each piece, i think, is reflective of its time. so if you pardon me for being a little bit, i will take a question that you last, what do we think of that and how would we have done things differently. the june 2011 peace, the road to and from liberation square i think was broadly optimistic about the prospects for democracy. at that time i actually believe that it was possible for egyptians to get to a democratic order if -- and this is a big if, all of the relevant political players, the political
elite from the military to the muslim brotherhood to the so-called secular or so-called liberal opposition to the so-called leftovers of the bark regime, all of those actors made all of the right decisions. so i thought that the military would have to acquiesce to democratic authority. i thought the islamists would have to resist the temptation to dominate the political order. and i thought that non islamists would have to acquiesce to the idea of having a political order that maybe had a little bit more religion than they might want and post the islamists and non as llamas to have made their would come up as anti hosni mubarek opposition and both of those would have to resist the temptation to try to exclude the former hosni mubarek regime because excluding would create a new class of spoilers who would
try to tear down the entire egyptian democratic edifice. if everyone does all of these things -- and this is egypt, they can do it. it is -- they surprised us before. they can make it to democracy. of course, as we know, none of that came to pass. more than that, it seems quaint that anyone could have believed that it would. so i kind of like to beat myself up. i am a neurotic person. a sometimes crack that peace open to remind myself of my naivety. i have to admit, i come away from it pleasantly surprised i did note at the end of that article that egypt was an extremely poor country and that poor countries, even if they manage somehow to make it to democracy usually fail to keep it. getting democracy is hard. keeping democracy is actually harder. and i further noted that if
egypt detoured into islamist dominion or economic crisis or chaos people in that country would begin to yearn for the lugubrious stability provided by the strong man. i think bill help me craft that. [laughter] i think i had a worse word. but the point is, in essence that is kind of what happened. the second piece that i was lucky enough to have was co-authored with two of the greatest intellectual partners of scholarship have. that peace is more consistent with the pessimism that was buried in my earlier article. in that article we basically surveyed the entire arab world and we note that, in fact, it was far more continuity.
so during the revolutions we may have dinner thrilled by the ingenuity and savvy of technologically connected young activists, but we neglected to note that the failure was much more prevalent. in this article we kind of take stock of the efforts of revolutionaries and note that of the 22 countries only six of them really faced anything that we would characterize as a regime challenging protest. and that and only four of those cases did you actually get success which we define narrowly as overthrowing an authoritarian regime. we note that protest is predicted pretty well by two simple structural factors, whether a regime had access to oil rights which allies seek to buy two things. the second is whether the regime had experience successful
hereditary succession which we take as a proxy for regime cohesion. this part people grapple with. it is quite simple. if you manage in the 23rd century to pass power from father to son, that is pretty good evidence your regime is pretty tightly bound if everybody in this regime from coercive apparatus can sign on to that. so basically what we do in this new article is try to redirect the attention of scholars from agent, activists to structure. and so an hour telling it does not matter how courageous and ingenious the youth were or how effectively pomade use of information technology, the outcomes of all of these things were essentially preordained. now, this perspective is really pessimistic. someone once told me if you want to look like you are smart always be pessimistic i also
think it is used will not just for explaining the outcomes of protests but for explaining the outcomes of what happened in the places that actually managed to overthrow their dictator. it is worth noting that of the for success cases that we have egypt, tunisia, and libya suffered it military coup and has not had a multi-party democratic election and more importantly the person who rules human right now is the vice president of the guy that they overthrew. the third has devolved into a state of near lawlessness, and only to visa has managed to erect new democratic institutions and critically keep them afloat. although as both have noted that there's been a great deal of polarization. a great deal of political violence including two assassinations. so, in fact, i am far less optimistic than many of my
colleagues. at best would say it only looks good in comparison to the arabs bring neighbors. the question is why this dismal record of failure. why wasn't the arab spring much more like the velvet revolution it does not like variables. have to confess that i need to talk about variables pitbull so one variable that we try to measure is how a democratic your there are lots of ways of doing this. one way to my group at the university of maryland put something out. you can go and look at eastern europe. the scores of every warsaw pact member. they all jump, they all move from being really bad autocracies, much more in the democratic zone. every single one including russia experiences and nice
jump. and of the pact members only two of them have not made or kept democracy. when we finally come up to it the policy we're not calling to see any jump like that. maybe internees and. we will see much more continuity and change. the question is, why is that. it comes to two things and we have always known. the level economic capacity. now want to be clear, particularly once you get into structural preconditions people think that i'm making an argument about how the egyptian people are muslim people are not ready for democracy. this is the arguments that was alluded to pluralism.
i actually think it's robber. i think instead what i'm saying is simply recognizing the fact that you need to have a particular kind of political landscape in order to sustain a political system in which everyone agrees that turnover of power is a good thing and should be encoded in the political institutions of the state. that is the kind of political landscape you need to have. everyone is a liberal. i don't believe that. in the united states would probably would not give it if we try to put the bill of rights to of referendum. what you need is a political landscape in which no side in any political struggle to defeat the other. this insight actually comes from a famous line from walter woodman back in 1939. you wrote that the survival of democracy depends upon a
sufficiently even balance of power to make an impractical for the administration to be arbitrary and for the opposition to be revolutionary and irreconcilable. besides have to have this belief if they can potentially when in a future democratic contest for them to continue to abide by the rules of the democratic game. and this equilibrium clearly did not exist in mohamed morsi egypt. one of the san ironies of political life is that it went from being one kind of one-party state to being another kind. is obama's who dwarf their opponent were able to run roughshod over them at the ballot box. and so it is not at all surprising that their opponents look at the political game and thought that democracy and elections were a fool's errand
and that they needed to appeal to the military to protect their basic interest. they concluded the only way to prevent the new dominion was to welcome with open arms and not so tender administrations of the men with guns. i further note, i argument is a little bit different and that the nature of the conflict does not matter. i actually don't think that the identity conflict is that severe if we injected sodium pentothal and to most of the leaders they will broadly sympathetic. i don't think that is what the debate really was about. it was simply about the fact that these people are winning. none of this should have proven surprising. i suspect for many people much smarter than myself it was not
surprising. but i think there is some solace to be taken. at think there is some solace to be taken in at least understanding what happens after as opposed to before because that is at least better than not understanding at all. thank you very much. [applause] i get nervous when authors leave my immediate reach. i don't have the ability to be an effective agent of horizontal accountability. i am going to pose a trio of questions. answer what you want, but i hope you can engage one another more directly now one controversy --
and i thought i heard you somewhat agreeing with the implication. i was not certain. who and what was the government under mohamed morsi? what you were saying is it is not surprising the other side perceive to and the emerging when party hegemony, but was it, you know -- i think we are probably, you know, most of us feel that let's get real, it was a military coup on july 3rd of 2013. and it it was a tragedy, the resistance or consolidating authoritarianism could not be mobilized by means other than
that not so tender administration. what dan byrd now thinks is a fascist military regime or at least of a certain form, but was this authoritarianism or was it just one party -- you know, one party dominant regime because the muslim brotherhood had more votes? what is the wider meaning? is the option of moderate islamist party playing the political game as ruling and then not ruling a rotation of power and the normalization of this phenomenon, is that dead? if it is, how do we explain, the more or less ruling party to actually give up control of the government in preparation for an
election? that is one set of questions. the second is what is egypt today? is it -- here i heard a kind of disagreement between two. a kind of fascist regime. i thought i heard you say, wait a minute. we don't really know. it does look good, but we don't know exactly what the character of it is going to be. it could move in different directions. finally, if the three of you want to address this i will simply note we look at the 15 states, arab states in the middle east and north africa. if you just look at another, of the states that have changed during this time almost all of the ones that have changed have
gone south. and the only two that have improved in their freedom score are one that you called quite aptly not a state at all, libya, which i think calls profoundly into question how freedom house to classify this country as a democracy today and read the second which is poorly on the road to democracy, libya -- the ledger does not look good. think you were right about that, but we are fairly -- is it fair to say that we are still -- it is still early days. who knows how this is going to play out. one of you mentioned, i think there has been a more than just a little bit of progress. the fact that they can agree on any kind of constitutional framework and all to hold the country together seems to have
been a major and vastly underappreciated achievement at only punt a united nations media so why don't you start. >> in response to larry's question, an excellent question and in response to todd's remarks, i see -- this may not make you happy. i see less dissidents between the three of us. i know you are pushing for some conflict. and i know that i have used the f-word, fascism. i am not going to be an election observer anytime soon. but it is clearly much more shot .
a profoundly psychological thing is going on that is hard to grasp it is profoundly -- aspects of it are very difficult to grasp. it does not hit into -- all i can say is it is a profoundly irrational aspect. want to answer your question by saying that, you know, i am not saying that because there is an identity conflict this precludes a transition to democracy. i would disagree with taught in the sense that i think that when you have a disagreement over identity it is easy to manipulate people's fears. it is easy to manipulate their most basic concerns about where they will end up the system. it is up to leaders whether they will manipulate those are not and exaggerate them. i have not read it. time flies. when he wrote his master's, in
the election with the conservative population when leaders are trying to mobilize they have to or are attempting to play to that conservatism. you have to decide what you're going to do, what kind of agenda you will set. and i don't think -- we can't expect all political leaders to be nelson mandela. that is an exceptional record. i would say that in terms of responding to or addressing the basic fears, this is something you see paradoxically. this is an alarmist -- islamist regime but also an establishment of intellectuals who greatly fear losing their agenda. how do you engage that perception?
i think that what we have in the region to some extent is a failure of leaders. he have to stand above all this. someone who seems to have understood this. and that makes me both happy and worried. it seems that he has kept the party together. the story that as i understand, every time they had an opportunity to push their agenda they were pushed back partly by the circumstances of the assassinations. i wonder what will happen to the party if he is no longer there to guide it because, in fact, it was not for lack of trying that the elements in the party did not succeed happily enough. in any case, i think there is relationship between the in the logical field and how political leaders engage it and use it and
whether they are willing to step beyond it. we do know that the opposition -- you don't have transition. it is not surprising that they effectively negotiated a path. that was the other critical thing that they needed. that they did not get. >> okay. >> thank you for the questions. let me say one thing about today's. it does stand out as though one actual or potentially positive. first, i agree it turns. in my opinion and my experience
with brother of leaders is the most intelligent and a very, very long time. but when also has to observe that to on like an agent of the brotherhood did not win an outright war. so you do not have to be a genius or a very great intellects to see that there is a different situation. now, of course, there were a lot of people who did not see that and were pushing for something more radical. but you could say, look, the situation does not permit that. of course, in fact, we know that was said. and it that is a function really have, at least partially, of the character of tunisian society, different histories,
constituencies and so forth. in which case one had to make or it was useful to make an agreement with other sectors like the labor unions or the secular educated. even in that case he resisted a long time before ending the government. i mean, it was not an easy thing for him to do. he then compare that with egypt. the various questions about egypt. dan just said, well, he needed a pact to with the military. he needed a pact with the other forces. strictly speaking as a technical matter that would have been a
good idea. always good to be able to have more than one partner so you can play them off against each other, but the other side does not really exist in the egyptian politick. i mean, it is not non existent, but it is not there is a force which is equivalent to the army or, you know, the islamist constituencies largest traditional, it is just not there. as for egypt, to questions. what was the government? the question of whether we disagree about how to describe the current regime, what was the government? well, it seems to me it and the first place it was a composite pushing forward and it was the
still existing bureaucracy and other sorts of institutions which were not under their control. there was this constant attempt to push to control those things, especially the judiciary. first of all prevented him very quickly from taking control and also drove me crazy, if i may say so. and so the critical thing seems to have been december 2012. he just lost it. lost patients and tried to rule by decree, which he could not make stake. and that was -- after that the trajectory was downhill. and, you know, if i had been the at would have been more patient. but he could not, for whatever reason. that don't think he was getting
a nice to be patient. i think there was a kind of impulse. this is our time. lets make it work. as for where egypt yesterday, i was suggesting that there -- we suggest that the new autocracy is not the old. for one thing you have through this experience. the autocrats. where he came from and how he came to office which was to the assassination of anwar sadat. all of that is important, but in autocracies agents are important
. it remains to be seen. but he has come through this experience. again, it seems to me he does not want to be the color of his bureaucrats. and he also may think it is not possible. he needs a fascism, but that he needs to find a theme for the populism which will bring him to power. and how successful he will be with that. if you remember again the difference between to uneasy and egypt, a 30% of the votes. and some portion of that is supporting him and defending him so if they are useful to him and he needs them he will try to give them some satisfaction.
and the satisfaction presumably comes in the form of appropriating some of their religious sensibility. that actually may work. it does not fix the economy, but it may work as a means for binding society gathered. >> thank you. >> thank you. it leaves me little to add. if we just step back a little bit and try to answer the comparative question, why is it that uneasy seems to have worked out and egypt did not? i think that the comments validate the perspective that i tried to offer which is simply antony's you did have a much more balanced political landscape. if you were a non islamist in the tunisian situation it was not out of the realm of
possibility. in fact it was quite likely that when you have a new set of elections he will be able to do better. from the standpoint it did not require a kind of remarkable type character. it just requires someone with a minimal level of understanding the politics to know that your opponents are ones with whom you have to negotiate. think about in the egyptian case, the muslim brotherhood is running an election. who does it turn out is the most potent electoral competitor? it is not the so-called liberal secularist. it is in fact the more conservative party will loom which to steal a description from one of his articles, they are referred to as ultra-conservative religious monsters. and so if you were thinking politically, who am i going to have to, you know, outflank and
i have to outflank these. so it is not surprising that they thought in terms of its most potent political competitors and not in terms of the so-called secularists who would eventually give the military an excuse to drive tanks down. i really think that it is a function of this political landscape and not necessarily the particular actor. and, you know, it is interesting stan mentioned the identity complex. i don't believe that it was important. he think about literature that we have in the democratization business, on two sides the structureless to think you only get democracy if you achieve a certain level of development and societal differentiation. and on the other side you have people basically going back to 1970, there are no prerequisites
to democracy. you only have to have a political elite that agrees. he read his speech carefully he says, what you need is an inconclusive political struggle such that the participants conclude democracy is important. the point is inconclusive. neither side can win, which means -- he does not recognize this, but i think he meant that you had to have to equally matched sides. how do you get that? it comes back to structure and societal differentiation. i think that is really what was lacking in the egyptian case and what is lacking in a lot of these cases. thinking about syria, saudi arabia, all of these countries, jordan, all of these places have significant structural barriers to getting to democracy, not the least of which is that they are usually diverse, that there have always been challenges to the authority of the central state
of from below by people who were not recognized and also from above by transnational movements like political islam. these have always been fragile states and have never been tremendously great for job ground for the did not to fund development of democracy. i will stop there. >> looking for a bit of dissension. let me just say, he also said that his model only applies to countries where they're is a consensus on national identity. >> and aged pear is that. >> we could have a debate. >> no, no. he did not mean that there was consensus over, you know, the role of religion. the only meant that we all agree . >> what is striking to me is the enduring struggle over what it means to be egypt, what it means
to be syria, what it means to be algeria, what it means to be syrian. it. >> let me just note one other variable, and then i will go to the two of you. i want to channel our esteemed member of the editorial board in simply noting egypt had a presidential system continues at a parliamentary system about 27% it barely one with 51 and a half percent. it does kind of enable and tempt people to grandiose projects when you have presidential cousin. maybe if you want you can identify yourself. >> i have a question.
mentioned the influence. having democracy spreading to other countries. it clearly the muslim brotherhood and how they both contributed. the identity. and my question, if you can touch on this a little bit, the u.s. can kind of impose the balance of power and basically prevent these countries from destroying the fragile democracy coming out of this uprising. one comment mentioned who, from u.s. and western involvement. the loss of support for and that
area to make that area terrible and survivable. the administration does not see that in the national interest of the united states that these emerging democracies are sustainable. >> keep your questions brief. >> my question is in the same direction. you spoke about the fear. the fear. are you assuming it will be much easier for them to deliver a transition toward democracy?
i do not feel that this is the case. they don't mind as they are doing the other factor, as you know, the interest of u.s. government is preserved by the current regime what will change? i wanted -- >> brief. >> the issue of identity. can we separate the internal problems of identity from the foreign policy? >> of great. thank you.
>> member of the egyptian parliament. a spokesperson for the foreign relations committee. living in egypt i do not agree with the characterization that he ruled by decree but indeed important to conceptualize the situation in which he did the hon. with the government. very recently the interior ministers in the debt it did not listen to anything, even when he insisted on getting information. we were giving him wrong information, and the military controlled more than 50 percent of the economy. able really to make serious challenges. still, the muslim brotherhood failed not only with political forces, agreeing on the
referendum. i think the beginning of the failure with the march 1910 referendum, stayed away from the revolutionary cause into a gradual to the credit process. and i think it the belief and the trust of formal democracy was a big mistake on all parts. there was a need to create a balance of the revolutionary and the democratic. i myself called for the people not to leave the square at all until our relations with the country was moving in the right direction i disagree with the pessimism. i think the revolution is likely to continue. i think the transition that is still going on, the people in egypt still have a say in what is going on and are not likely to accept the status quo and we're trying very hard to work
with other forces. all of us realizing that we made mistakes and need to push the democratic cause forward. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> i would like to ask on an issue that none of them touched upon, the role of the deep state , and counter the ways that this country has really worked and what is in egypt or libya or continues year. how did they really either maneuver it or manipulate their power to bring about or put a brake on the movement of the arabs bring countries.
>> and not sure how many will be able to take. >> i am from to ivana, and need-learning institute for runny in civil society. irani and activists are looking at egypt allottees days both in terms of looking backward and forward, backward in the sense that there are lot of comparisons made between what is happening in egypt to now or under mohamed morsi now. the iranian revolution and also the forward looking in terms of, well, we could have a tahrir square or a green movement that actually gets somewhere. my question is about the analysis that in order for things to really take shape and consolidate or at least move
forward toward democracy in any kind of reliable way he need to have been signs or all sides feel that there is a chance, at least a chance of winning elections and that this is not the case in egypt. my question is, from the perspective not of an analyst's but a person, a human being or particularly an activist on the ground, when you see what is happening under mohamed morsi what is there right thing to do? what is the moral thing to do? do you wait and wait and wait and see what happens and then wait for that next election when, as you say, you know there is no chance of winning, or do you try to stop the process with the hope that you are going to stop the infringement of all manner of human rights? >> hudson institute. three very quick questions. the first, there were comments
about packed making. i wonder if the panelists could comment on whether their revolutionary atmosphere, the euphoria of revolution itself at the phenomenon is conducive to making packs or whether the fact that those regimes held to resolutions meant that the possibility was limited to say the least? the second is, regarding a comment that the professor made about democracy. mentioned briefly the non islamists, the liberal, secular estimate democrats, whatever you want to call them, i wonder if we share the view of the possibility of democracy without committed democrats, are aiming to achieve it? the third -- in a sense the
panelists did not talk about this point, but i think such a distinguished panel might use the opportunity to have him address the topic of the future of islam. belong to break -- a long debate, but how they see the future of the islamists. many have commented on an end of islamism. and get the feeling the panelists probably do not agree with that. where do we see it going from this point forward? thank you. >> i am going to give you the last question the very briefly and then we have to go to our panel. >> fascism of course in egypt i would like to ask your opinion about the administration.
pact between the islamists and the army over the political timetable in that country. it just was a pact that excluded a particular set of actors who nobody thought was consequential but they have proved their ability to at least make problems spoil the political game. i will give you an example. sam huntington has the simple test of whether a country as a democracy and correct me if i get the details wrong dam. you have to have two turnovers of power within 60 years. consolidation. larry is moderating. the big point is i remember an interview with karl rove karl rove says we want to have a 100 year republican majority.
nobody wants to be a democrat. everyone wants to rule forever so to be committed to that is not too high of a barge. you have to be forced to accept it as fundamentally committed to it. in terms of the future it really depends on how we defined it. if we define islamism as a believe that we define islamism as my friend does as political activism using with reference to islam that's definitely not going to disappear. it has its own islamism. the interim constitution that the current regime puts forward when morrissey was over fun they took one of the most objectional articles in the constitution and put it in article i.
clearly signaling very quickly in terms of this score that we observed in eastern europe and why we didn't have that in the middle east and your argument is that it's because the united states was involved we have a negative degree of freedom problem here. however i would note that these eastern european countries were far more developed than the arab world is now among all these standards i mentioned. there were lots of reasons to expect them to do better. it was the failure of egypt in the political institutions that they selected at the outset outset and i believe this also relates to some of the comments
of dr. masoud makes a point that morsi was not trying to rule as a presidential mode and i think in this case he is right. when i is mentioned in november 22 declaration of morsi as exhibit a in the bill of particulars against the muslim brotherhood. the reason he was is because once he gets elected the supreme court dissolved the legislature. now he is the legislature and executive and as legislature and executive gets to make the constitutional declarations not a situation he created a situation he inherited. then what do they try to do quest he tried to bring back the legislature not because he's committed to parliament server side but because it was dominated by the muslim brotherhood. the military said no so finally
he comes around to november 22 and he says my decisions are above judicial oversight. number one to make the upper house of parliament the legislature. the president trying to bring back the legislature legislature number two the legitimate a constituency which was writing the constitution could not be of salt so morsi supporters would say he wasn't trying to destroy democracy. he was doing the opposite. i don't want to pass judgment on that. i only think there's enough question about this. there's nobody in egypt who is a a hero and no one has covered themselves in glory and this backs to professor brumberg's point that egypt is now fascist. analyze use that term but i think regardless of who would have come out ahead in the summer of 2013 weather was morsi orders opponents the egypt we would be talking about now would be very depressing and an
indescribable place -- inhospitable place regardless. >> hillel you are next. >> is that all you have to say? [laughter] >> okay trying to, there's a fair convergence between some of these questions but obviously they come at things from different perspectives. let me begin and they way backwards with a question about the role of the deep state which was raised by -- yes because i think it reflects directly what in fact tarek was talking about with respect to egypt that there was, in that case you had a deep state was functioning in
opposition to the elected authority and also not functioning i mean dysfunctional in a way that was no longer describable constitutionally. as i think tarek was implying but there was no legislature and there was no clear lines of authority. so morsi made them up as he went along and what i meant earlier by the fact that he just lost patience. i don't think in fact it was simply an important that the super constitutional decree was made. it came out of a circumstance but it deepened the problem because there was still no real constitutional authority and a conveyed more generally to people that now there was now a different spirit.
so in each case i think there is the problem of the pre-existing state unless it collapses altogether as it seems to have done in libya that means you are going to have, that's going to play a role in the transition. the role of outsiders, both regional and the u.s.. i think that's been the way it was put into different sets of questions. in the case of -- this is where he began with my remarks. in fact they had a very large impact on internal developments in different countries and since the region didn't act as a whole but in conflict with itself, it affected the trajectory of these events especially in egypt where she said the governor was supporting the brotherhood
government and others were opposing it. the role of the u.s. is a different matter and here it's obviously a long discussion because we had separate obviously reactions to the different revolts and so forth but at the very beginning in the early spring of 2011 the president was quoted as saying effectively i want to keep hands off of this period. he did it more positively. the statement was these are organic revolutions and organic revolutions are good. why are they good? because they reflect the plan that is fair. the people who are there and the problem with us getting involved as we are outsiders and we would
distort the growth of these plans. i think by and large i know that in egypt everyone claims that the president has been on the side of their opponents but he was pro-brotherhood and anti-brotherhood. he was nowhere basically in any consistent way which went back i think to the original notion. we make things worse. we americans make things worse when we intervene. therefore we are not going to end this will all be healthier. it turns out that organic growth has liabilities of that song and we are now in a situation as we can see for example especially and emphatically in the case of syria but we have not prepared the way.
that was in the way by design but it was conceived of as benevolently. it was not supposed to be but the proof that we were being being good was that it served no ours. and it also hasn't served any interest but it hasn't served anyone in the region either which is a problem. related to that i would say, what's the other thing? going back to the speaker from the freedom of justice party. i hope it's clear. it seems to me that president morsi had a lot of obstacles thrown in his path. those were from a democratic point of view dubious.
in fact this discussion about that took place earlier i think about a year and a half ago or a year ago anyway. on the other hand the response wasn't particularly democratic either so that's how we got to the present circumstances. i will sum it up there. >> a lot of excellent questions. my sense on regional and international factors is they are very important in the case of syria and of course in libya in some way decisive but countered actually i'm not as convinced that they are ultimately the decisive factors. i think the ones we have been talking about which are very much local or the most part are the crucial ones. i do want to say when i termed the regime fascist and we don't know what this regime is. we really don't know. it's a kind of a fascist moment where the leader is exploding
the deepest fears of the population and identifying enemies for not only our enemies that they deserve this or that say. so when the court says 560 of these of these to the sentence and a member of the government says why not 20,000 or 10,000 you have to wonder what's going on. this is a really strange situation and a dispirited one. where although i don't know. i'm optimistic in the sense that when i talk about these divisions they are not ironclad and by the way in my own word we talk about islamists in nonislamist. the nonislamic rubric is much bigger and much more complex than a secular islamist struggle and i think there are possibilities for coalition building in egypt that may emerge as a result of a learning process that comes from this and as a result of it the mistakes that leaders look at and assess him and assess on the kinds of alliances. there is more flexibility and malleability and all these
countries than suggested by the mere notion of secular islamist divisions at least than many of them. but tarek is right the balance of power has turned that we are not talking about will -- we are always talking the language of identity politics. you can't separate them out. on the last question the issue of islamist site mentioned in the article that the tunisian issue doesn't solve it. who did he encountered the most questions from? islamists. they kept asking him -- that's what's left of our agenda. islam is accepting working with other simpler was him. this is what it means this is not an islamist agenda anymore. i think it's more than the balance of power. he's been thinking about these things for a long time and i
think he means them but at the end of the day when he defines this as an islamist agenda and the agenda of his party in ways that question the role of islam will be as opposed to a mere inspiration for identity there are plenty within his party who believe it means much more. in that sense the tunisia situation hasn't resolved the islamist issue at all. we will see what happens when there is an election. if it's true because the party only got 40 or 45% at faces a situation where it would have been crazy to impose a rule. they did for a long time but they were all kinds of peculiarities in the results of elections including the election of a shun the supporters and we don't know where it's going to go. the real test will be after the election and what happens when perhaps the party does better than it did the first time and
how it's ready to share power and work with the opposition. >> thanks larry. i did want to add a point that occurred to me in the context of dan's point before. there are the givens in the structural things and so forth and so on but then there's also the question of leadership. and how leaders take into account very specific events and responsibilities. i would say a couple of things in the course of the events of the last three years specifically in egypt struck me powerfully both at the time and in retrospect. the first was the demonstration of february 18. which was the first demonstration more or less that was donated by the brotherhood into rear square at which the
leadership decided to invite -- and to throw him off the platform. that was the moment to reflect on what kinds of things you needed to succeed in the revolution and implicitly a decision was made and i think it was made indirectly. other things like and tarek probably remembers the exact circumstances when the assassin of anwar sadat was asked to sit next to general al-sisi at a public event. that was probably not a very smart thing to do. so first of all from the perspective of having a successful pursuit of your own program and for the larger perspective the egyptian or or arab interests interest those kinds of things matter a lot and
turn out one way or the other. how things turn out one way or the other can actually be trivialized they are or as small as they are the actually fairly decisive. >> thank you hillel. thank all three of you for your marketable panel discussion. let me close with these observations before i thank my colleagues. first of all an answer to your question, it wasn't answered and i think it would be a very lengthy discussion to try to answer it. i would just say one thing. whatever the obama administration does i hope it will not commit the ultimate and unsustainable hypocrisy of declaring that egypt is now making sufficient progress with morsi. you have to begin with the first-order principles and the first-order principles are not to make a fool of ourselves again in the arab world by
turning things upside down and pretending we don't even see what's happening. however you characterize it if you want to use the word or not it's a deeply authoritarian moment in egypt. over 1000 people have been killed since the military came to power in over 5000 are in jail. i think there is very clear evidence of torture being used. friends of democracy and liberal principles have had to flee the country. in one case a scholar we wanted to bring to the united states wasn't allowed to leave the country and of course many people are suffering much worse fates. we have strategic interests that it would be nice if we would stand up for principles now and then too. or at lease call things as everyone else in the world would see them. the second thing i would like to end on a hopeful note so let me
observed this. we have had a situation for 40 years where the arab world was the only region in the world, the only significant aware whatever you drew that map clustering of states in the world where there wasn't a single democracy. and now according to freedom house i think correctly judged there is a democracy in tunisia tunisia. it's transitional. it has elements of fertility. things we should be concerned about. we shouldn't take it for granted and that's precisely my point. if i were an american policymaker i would be saying okay what's the economic agenda for embracing and lifting up this economy, for strengthening the state, for partnering with the civil society and political institutions. you've got to start somewhere. this country is crucially important in an outsized way i think to the future of democracy and freedom throughout the
world. the final thing is you know i really do believe and i think my colleagues agree we are really still in a very early days here in terms of the process of the struggle for, to use one of the arabic words, corona dignity throughout the region and this isn't going away. there are many historical events that are going to unfold in the years and decades to come that i think are going to rock these regimes and reduce them to come to demand for the terms of popularity and sovereignty. we are going to have to do another edition of this book, mark. that's one thing we can say for sure. mark brumberg my coeditor thank you very much and all of the staff that they national ndowment for democracy and our
i had a lot of egyptian student friends. he hung out today, made films together and talked about the future. when in january of 2011 thousands and thousands of young people, a lot of them students, came to the square and they actually occupied it and brought tents and stayed the night and some didn't leave. they started putting up placards saying please resign, president, we need a shower. when they did that, i recognized that as the sons and daughters of the people i went to school with. i followed the arab world for 30
years so i felt an ifinity to them. i was interested in what they had to say because their slogans were different than the early '70s, say. the time of revolution romanticism. but these young people were talking about personal dignity, transparent elections. i could be wrong but i don't think transparent elections was the major talking point of most people in the arab world in the early '70s. a lot of people wanted a great leader at that time. these young people at that time seemed relatively uninterested unload -- in having a leader.
my own teacher when he saw this thing breakout in cairo flew back and went to the square where the young people were and being a sociologist he said take me to your leader and they looked at him funny. it wasn't that kind of movement with a leader. to this day, people can't quite tell how things got done because food showed up and water showed up and things were arranged and it seemed to be networked.
they prevailed in cities and ultimately went to the capital and paralyzed the government. this is what happened throughout 2011 and really until next year in egypt it was done again. so many young people came out into the streets in central places that they made it impossible for ordinary life to go on. shops couldn't function well and people were not making any money and the tourist stopped coming and basically these young people blackmailed the county's elites. their message was we are not going home until that guy is gone. and the rest of the elite said no at first. we depend on that guy and like him and the elite started
thinking how well do we like that guy? they sent him on a plane and sent him to exile. initially he was thinking he would go to paris but then and then the president of france was initially amendable and then someone whispered in his year that there is the order of 800,000 french that may not be happy about this arrangement. and then he was flying dutch and
had no place to go and calls were made around that where could they park him and well there is one reliable place you can always send the told dictators to. so he is now in saudi arabia. it was colonized by the french and british and that wasn't present. i grew up partially in france and we new a french woman that was a family friend and years ago i was talking to her and she was kind of conservative and i
complained about how the algerians were treated after france took it in 1830 and was proceeded to leave in 1962. and he said we built them railroads and churches for them. so i think they are as grateful for those things as she seems to think they should be. it was no fun being under their rein. and then they were destroyed and their economies were bad and convincing the people we should spend resources on the foreign call l iolony wasn't very succe. so they became independent and they had a stronger man in the
role and they were of the mod n modernization sort. it is controversial if the regimes today in the way of things like education or industrialization or were not interested in promoting those things. but the arab world as it came into the mid-20th century was illiterate and rural. there was little in the way of infrastructure and industry and most people couldn't read and right and most lived in villages. these leaders frankly looked to the east block for a model of how you do state-led industrialization. they nationalized things and made state cement companies.
they built enormous numbers of schools and universities. they transformed the region and per capita income went up and people moved to cities and then the soviet union fell. and that model of having the government be 50% maybe of the economy and direct everything fell apart and there was pressure on the rulers to prioreratize. some of the companies were not very efficient and didn't make things the market wanted to buy. they would call up and say how
would you like a steel mill. there was enormous corruption and they blocked everybody else economically and politically. you could not run for office unless they wanted you to run for office. you could win very easily. you could easily be jailed for complaining about the situation. the corruption was so bad in these regimes that economist think it took between 1-3 points a year off economic growth. if egypt grew 3% more a year than they did there might not have been such a big economic crunch and you had all of these young people coming up and the population of egypt doubled between 1980-present. imagine how many -- they added a whole now egypt of young people. and they didn't add a whole new
egypt worth of jobs or economic or political opportunities. so these young people look at the regimes and sees them as a road block that has to be removed if they are going to amount something. it wasn't just the dictator and his picture everywhere and police patting you down. they started making arrangements for their sons to take over after them. so a lot of the disdatain was getting rid of the presidents and making sure their sons didn't become presidents for life. the one place that was implemented actually was syria.
but in egypt and else where all had plans to pass on the family firm. so the young people exploded in range at this prospect. and i have to say what did they really accomplish? i think they accomplished a lot more than is credited to them. it is early days to make a judgment about where all of this is going but it is the case that presidents for life have become more than a anything else a real
election. in egypt there is two two-year forms for the president. so this isn't going to be a president for life. i was in egypt in march and saw the president on television and he was saying we understand you don't get to be president of egypt unless the people vote for you. it used to be the president was the one chosen by the previous one in talk with the general. and while that kind of thing happened with occ there had to be public acclimation for it to work. and i think it was probably somewhat genuine in this case. so in tunesia you had an
important set of transitions where you had a parliamentary election that was an assembly that was going to write a constitution. there was a lot of wrangling between the religious right and the more secular and leftist forces. but they were in coalition with each other and made compromises and voted for the constitution. among the issues in the constitution that the young people watched like a hawk and mobilized around were women's rights. they said woman and men have co complimentory rights and everybody understood what that meant. so the young people aligned and
came back on the street and there has been another civil revolution and they demand equal rights for women, that the constitution guarantee worker's rights, and freedom of conscious was another because the religious right wanted to put curves on that. and they got everything they demanded. they also demanded the elected government step down and allow a technocratic government to be formed to oversee other elections so there was no thumb on the till. it all worked. the new constitution specified
that men and women have equal rights, there is no institution in charge of internet censorship and that was a country that specialized in cyber police in the old days. so this is a remarkable story. and of course it is a country of 11 million. it is small and not big on the world's radar perhaps but you cannot say that the youth who came out in 2010-2011 didn't accomplish anything. they accomplished an enormous amount. and in yemen as well there has been a relatively healthy transition. they are going to have elections early next year and, you know, there is a pushback in egypt but the generation i argue hasn't gone any place.
it maybe the 60-somethings are powerful and control institutions and have a lot of health and don't like the changes that were demanded and they pushed back in some instances fairly successfully for the moment. but the 20-something have an advantage over the 60-somethings. in the long run, it is today 20-somethings that will be in control and we cannot no of course what they will do when they get in control. but i mentioned the story in the book the czech and the springs happened and there was a playright that got on a pirate radio station -- play write --
and was talking about the ships approaching and he was arrested. in that system, if you stood up to the authorities and lost you were a non-person. so he wasn't allowed to put on his plays. he had to work in a brewery for a while. and then by the early '90s he was president of the czech republic. so we should not think just because these young people -- they are prominent people to helped make the egyptian revolution and the current egyptian government has put them in jail. so-to -- and i don't think we have heard the last of them.